Production of transforming growth factor alpha in human pancreatic cancer cells: evidence for a superagonist autocrine cycle.

J. J. Smith, R. Derynck, M. Korc

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

Previous work showed that cultured human pancreatic cancer cells overexpress the epidermal growth factor (EGF) receptor. In the present study, we sought to determine whether some of these cell lines produce transforming growth factor alpha (TGF-alpha). Utilizing a radiolabeled TGF-alpha cDNA in hybridization experiments, we determined that ASPC-1, T3M4, PANC-1, COLO-357, and MIA PaCa-2 cell lines expressed TGF-alpha mRNA. Serum-free medium conditioned by T3M4 and ASPC-1 cells contained significant amounts of TGF-alpha protein. Although unlabeled TGF-alpha readily competed with 125I-labeled EGF for binding, each cell line exhibited lower surface binding and internalization of 125I-labeled TGF-alpha as compared to 125I-labeled EGF. Both TGF-alpha and EGF significantly enhanced the anchorage-independent growth of PANC-1, T3M4, and ASPC-1 cells. However, TGF-alpha was 10- to 100-fold more potent than EGF. These findings suggest that the concomitant overexpression of EGF receptors and production of TGF-alpha may represent an efficient mechanism for certain cancer cells to obtain a growth advantage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7567-7570
Number of pages4
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Volume84
Issue number21
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1987

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